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Automating Your Sales Incentives Is Not Enough

There is little doubt that automating your sales incentives can save you money and time. Another benefit of automation is that it can help “shield the field” from having to navigate the complexity of comp plans with category-level payouts, different tiers and accelerators, outcome-based bonuses or spiffs, and so on.

And if that weren’t enough incentive (pardon the pun), sales incentive automation enables something we’re constantly beating the drum about—i.e. exposing the incentive impacts in real-time, during the sales process, when and where salespeople are actually making the decisions that will determine the outcomes.

But in an expert interview with Giles House of CallidusCloud, we learned that if you’re solely focused on just automating your sales incentives, you are very likely missing out on one of the biggest benefits of all.

You see, automation makes processes more efficient. And that will, of course, result in some cost savings. Very often, however, these cost savings are just a fraction of what could be achieved by simultaneously striving to make those underlying processes more effective.

In the interview, Giles describes it as the difference between simply paving a meandering cow path around a mountain and boring a glorious tunnel straight through that mountain. While the former might make an existing route a bit more efficient, the latter is obviously the much more effective approach.

According to Giles, when you couple incentive automation with incentive analytics, you have the keys for maximizing efficiency and effectiveness at the time.

While the automation works to reduce the heavy-lifting typically associated with managing a comp plan, the analytics is what helps you uncover hidden performance patterns, understand what’s working and what’s not, and identify the most effective mix of incentives to achieve your specific objectives.

Automating your sales incentive plan is clearly a great thing to do. But you shouldn’t stop there. To really get the most out of the effort, you need to leverage the data being generated to make better decisions about the elements and structure of the plan itself.

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